CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN AN ORGANIZATION (A Case Study of Nigeria Port Authority)

ABSTRACT

This project work has been design with purpose of examining conflict management in an organization.

This research work has been broken down into five chapters. The first chapter deals with the background to the study and insight to conflict management in an organization

The second chapter gives a comprehensive literature review on conflict management.

Chapter three will briefly discuss the methodology in relations to data collection.

Chapter four is an analysis of respondents and test of research Hypothesis.

Finally, chapter five deals with summary, conclusion and recommendation.

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

 

Title page                                                                         1

Abstract                                                                           2

Table of content                                                               3

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0   Introduction                                                             5

1.1 Historical background                                         6

1.2 Background to the study                                    9

1.3   Statement of Problem                                          11

1.4 Objective of the study                                          13

1.5 Justification of study                                           14

1.6   Scope of study                                                          15

1.7 Significant to the study                                      16

1.8  Classification of concepts                                   16

 

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.0 Management of conflict in the earlier Phase of industrialization till date                                    23

2.1 Empirical approach                                             26

2.2   Industrial conflict                                                29   

2.3 Forms of industrial actions                                33   

2.4   Types of industrial conflicts                               39   

2.5 Grievance Procedure                                            40

2.6   External resolution machineries                        43

2.7   Types and stages                                                 44

2.8   External procedure for settlement of conflict  46

 

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.1         Population of study                                                 52

3.2         Sample procedures and techniques                         52

3.3         Method of data collection                                        53

3.4         Method of Data Analysis                                          54

3.5          Limitation of the Research Methodology                 54

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1   Introduction                                                             57

4.2   Testing of hypothesis                                                70

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.0   Introduction                                                             72

5.1   Summary                                                                 72   

5.2   Recommendation                                                     73

5.3   Conclusion                                                              76

        Bibliography                                                            78

Appendix (Questionnaire)                                         79

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0                  INTRODUCTION

 

In any relationship between human beings or between management and workers, there is no guarantee of perpetual peace as long as the relationship persists. This emanates from the fact that human beings are made of different interests, aspirations and temperament and there is bound to be conflict at one time or the other.

 

By Daniel, I meant a disagreement between two or more parties over issues of divergent interest. It becomes industrial when it occurs in our industrial saffine. For peace and tranquility to reign supreme, socio-conflict have to be managed or reduced to its barest minimum or averted completely through amicable resolution process.

 

The way and manner conflict in an organization is managed can lead to it being functional or dysfunctional. Hence, conflict is inevitable, for instance the management interest 'within an organization being about maximization of profit while labour main concern is to become and maintain the highest condition of services of workers. According to Otobo (1982) industrial conflict may be organized for unorganized, organized conflict is likely to form part of conscious strategy to change the situation which is identified' as the source of conflict. In unorganized conflict, the worker responds to the situation in the only way open to him as an individual that is by withdrawal from the source of discontent of individual sabotage and indiscipline.

1.1  HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The concept of port as an integral part of social, political and economic development of a country was not properly addressed in Nigeria until 1954. Before then, port operation and management had been a joint responsibility of different government departments. The handling of cargo at the quays in Lagos for instance, was undertaken by the Nigeria Railways department. The Marine Department was in charge of the maintenance of the harbour channel and the berthing of vessels, whilst a Port Engineer in the public works department was responsible for maintaining the quays.

 

This system of port operation and harbour organization was later found inadequate and the needs therefore arose for a well constituted body, to control and manage the nation's ports. In effect, the Nigeria Ports Authority was created by the Ports Acts of 1954 and began operation on 1st April, 1955. Formally established as an autonomous public operation on 14 May, 1955, it assumed the responsibility for certain ports and habour activities previously conducted by the government department and vested with the assets which had been used by the government in the conduct of these activities.

The primary objectives of this organization includes cargo handling, cargo storage, rentage of landed property, ship repair, dredging of sea channels provision of communication facilities etc.

 

The number of ports, capacity of ports and volume of trade' handed in the ports have grown substantially. The oil boom of the 1970's attained Nigeria's pattern of exports and greatly expanded the volume of imports. However, with the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986, emphasis is now being placed on the development of interval resources that will encourage export oriented goods and decrease the amount of importation.

 

1.2          BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In an organization, we have the management and workers. Each party with its own interest, aspirations and temperaments. For instance the management interest within an organization is about maximization of profit which means, they will like to produce at a low cost, while the labour main concern is to secure to workers. This kind of situation can lead to conflict. Conflict is a process which begins when one party perceives that another party has frustrated, or is about to frustrate, some concerns of the party. Ind. It has to be perceived by the parties involved. If two or more parties are not aware of conflict; then no conflict exists. In any organization existence of conflict is inevitable hence sometimes, conflict is functional in that its improves the quality of decisions, stimulated creativity and innovation, encourages interest and curiosity amongst group members provides a way of hearing grievance releases tension and encourages self-evaluation and change. These results are best achieved where conflict is managed well but if not it becomes dysfunctional, which means it will breed discontent, dissolves communities, led to the destruction of the group, retard communication, reduces group cohesion, individual interest supplant group goals, reduces group effectives and thirteen group survival. When such situation occurs and not proper machinery used to check its ugly heads, it can led to strike, look out, dispute etc.     

 

In a nutshell, the way and manner conflict is managed go a long way in determining the effective and efficient performance of the organization, both unions representative should put head together and dialogue. They should baring concessionally or just use integrated bargaining were each party does not need to be too rigid on its interest. 

In order to curb the spate of conflict in organization some procedural rules will include any of the following;

  • Grievance procedure
  • Negotiating procedure
  • A dismissal procedure

 

It is assumed that these rules should be followed by the employees and employers so to guarantee industrial peace and harmony necessary for efficiency and productivity.

 

1.3  STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

 Individual conflict is a phenomena that is commonly associated with industrial proportion of workers depends on their wages for survival. This hydro-headed monster called conflict has eaten deep into the fabric of our industries. It manifest  itself in various forms, like high labour turnover rate, strike,  lockouts, disputes sabotage to employers equipment, absenteeism, industrial accident etc. In the work place when industrial conflict is full blown to strike or lockout, it affects both the employers, the management and the citizens who are consumers of such produce or services of the industry. The end result of such industrial actions on the worker is his going back to') his personal savings for support throughout the industrial unrest period. To the employers the production will stop, cost of new contract and no profit. The study will endeavour to critically evaluate the trends and patterns of industrial conflict and its resolution process.

 

The effectiveness of these resolution mechanisms towards guaranteeing industrial peace and to determine the extent to which productivity of an organisation will be affected by industrial conflicts.

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The history of industrial conflict IS not alien to many Nigerians. This is because, majority of t11e citizens this country have been directly or indirectly affected by the actions of the organized labour. However, the objective of this study is to bring to the public focus the following amongst others.

  • The subject matter of industrial conflict.
  •  The Causes and a thorough x-ray of effectiveness of industrial conflict resolutions processes in Nigeria.
  • To evaluate the impact of industrial conflict on the productivity of Nigerian organization.
  •  To determine how best industrial conflict be managed to ensure efficient of effective organizational performance. 
  •  To make useful recommendation and conclusion for a viable system of ensuring and enduring industrial harmony.

1.5 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY

The findings of this study will be useful for organization especially engineering industries in managing conflicts to the best optimization of organization goals.

The result could also be of help to other organization within and outside the country.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To provide empirical foundation for this studY1 the following should be the research question:

  • What are the causes of industrial conflict in Nigeria organization?
  • What are the response of management to industrial conflicts?
  • What are the best ways of managing conflict to ensure effective and efficient organizational performance?

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The main hypothesis of the study can be summarized in the following hypothesized relationship: -

Organizational performance is not directly related to the level of industrial conflicts.

Organizational performance is directly related to the level of industrial conflicts.

1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY

The scope of this study will be limited to Nigeria ports authority, meanwhile, data that will be used in this study will be obtained from the Marine engineering industry for the analysis and interpretation of the result finding will be based on these data. Hence, the generalizations of the research findings will be limited.

 

1.7  SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY 

The findings of this study will be useful for organization like Nigeria ports plc in managing conflict to the best optimization of organizational goals. Practically to provide organizational particularly practising  industrial relations managers with the knowledge of conflict and its effect on organization production.  It will serve as a secondary data to other research in the same of related topic, the result will be or help to other organizations within and outside the country.   

 

1.8  CLASSIFICATION OF CONCEPTS        

1.     INDUSTRIAL CONFLICT: This may be regarded as dissatisfaction arising from the interaction between labour and management in the work place.     

2. DISPUTE: According to Trade Dispute decree NO.7 of 1976 defined trade dispute as any dispute between employers and employees or between workers and workers which is connected with the terms of employment or condition of work of any kind.

  1. 3.            PRODUCTIVITY: This is known as the efficiency and capacity of all organization.
  2. 4.         ORGANISATION: Breech (1963) defined organization as the frame work of the management process as formed by the definition of the responsibilities by means of union the activities or enterprise are dispersed among managerial supervisory and specialized personnel employed in its service.
  3. TRADE UNION: This IS regarded as the legitimate representation of employees interest at work with the right to challenge the right of management to manage. Simply put, it is defined in the Nigerian Trade Union act of 1973, section l' as any combination of workers or employers, whether temporary or permanent, the purpose of which is to regulate the terms and conditions of employment of workers.

 

  1. INDUSTRIAL ACTIONS:This IS the reaction of either parts to the conflicts in an attempt to make the other party to its demand.
    1. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: According to 98 convention of international Labour Organization, collective bargaining is defined as the voluntary negotiation between employers or employees organization with a view to negotiate terms and conditions of employment by collective agreement.
    2. Strike: This is a temporary refusal by workers to work in accordance to the prevailing employment contract or other conditions that may not have seen specified or implied in the contract. Also, the trade dispute Act of 1976, define strike as cessation of work by a body of person employed, acting in combination or concerted refusal under a common understanding or workers to continue to work for an employer in the consequences of dispute as a means of compelling their employer to accept or not to accept terms of employment and physical condition of work.

9. LOCK - OUTS: the trade dispute decree No.7 section 37 of 1936 defines lock-out to mean the closing of place of employment or the suspension of work of the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him in consequence of a dispute, with a view of compelling those person to or another employer in compelling persons employed by him· to accept terms of employment and physical condition of work.

10.   INTERGRATIVE BARGAINING: In recent times, there has grown an interest in new forms of negotiations that has been vigorously termed "Interactive", "Win - Win" or "Mutual Gains" bargaining (see fisher and Vry, 1981). The desire is to make bargaining less adversarial and labour relations more harmonies. Hence, industrial parties that engage the integrative bargaining basically desire or seek to understand the other party's needs focus or problems and evaluate range of alternative solutions while ultimately· concentrating on the generation of solutions that mutually meet needs of both parties (Strauss, 1998: 178 – 675)


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